October 11, 2011
Written by Michael Vizard
One of the benefits of hindsight is that your organization should be able to benefit from the trials and tribulations that other companies have experienced. In the case of application software, it’s pretty clear that a fragmentation of application software has resulted in a lack of integration across critical business processes, not to mention often unnecessary software licensing expenses.
Against that backdrop it might then be worth noting a comprehensive approach to business application software that is currently being developed by Fishbowl, which first made its name selling inventory management software that leveraged the same QuickBooks user interface that millions of business executives use every day to manage accounting.
With the release of Fishbowl Inventory 2012, the company is now extending that model out to point-of-sale (POS) software. In addition, the company for the first time the company is rolling out a customer relationship management (CRM) application that will reside on a cloud computing platform built by Fishbowl called Pipeline. According to Fishbowl CEO David Williams, the end goal is to create a suite of easy-to-use business applications that make it possible for small-to-medium businesses to automate a business process using any combination of applications residing as necessary either on premise or in the cloud.
While this vision is clearly still a work in progress, Williams says the company’s new Pipeline cloud computing platform will give customers the ability to flexibly decide where to run application software based on their requirements versus having that decision dictated by the business model of a particular software vendor. As part of that effort, Williams says Fishbowl is committed to making business software that is much more readily accessible to the average SMB organization than what they might obtain from more well-heeled enterprise software vendors.
What Williams is trying to highlight is the fact that the fragmented nature of business application software today requires customers to perform a lot of unnatural acts in terms of managing business processes that span multiple applications. Rather than continuing to spend good time after bad money, the time might be coming to simply consider what processes need to be automated first, and then find the software that enables that to happen versus buying software and then spending a lot of time and money trying to get it to actually work.
We’re still a little ways from seeing that happen, but the days when the business needs to bend to the way a particular piece of software works are slowly, but surely, coming to a close.